What Would a Humanist Do? Meaningful Allyship During Pride Month & Beyond Peter Bjork TheHumanist.com

Today we bring you our latest installment of “What Would a Humanist Do?”—offering multiple AHA staff opinions on reader questions. Because while humanists are committed to being good without a god, sometimes we need a little advice on how to pull it off.

Q: June is pride month; I’ve attended my local parade and put the rainbow flag in my front yard, but as an ally with humanist values, what else can I do this month to support the LGBTQ+ community that embodies my commitment to service and participation?


I recommend attending and participating in pride festivals and street fairs. They are filled with local LGBTQ+ vendors, performers, nonprofits, and communities that you can engage with throughout the year. You can celebrate together, purchase products and donate to causes, collect information to learn more and share with others, and sign up for mailing lists to stay involved and attend other events. Consider tabling or volunteering at a future pride festival to help them continue and grow. They’re great places to make connections so you can support the LGBTQ+ community beyond pride month.

—Emily Newman, Senior Education Coordinator

To be a good ally, get informed about the LGBTQ+ issues in your area and show up when you can. What legislation is affecting the LGBTQ+ community where you live? Are LGBTQ+ books being banned from local libraries? Are the rights of trans kids and adults being threatened? Contact your local legislators and show up at county and school board meetings to voice your support. You can also read books, watch films, or share and enjoy the art of LGBTQ+ creators–and check out the Human Rights Campaign’s guide to allyship which includes tons of other tips.

—Sharon McGill, Graphic Design Manager

I appreciate you thinking larger than symbolic support. Allies don’t just dress up cute to attend Pride Parades with their friends, or consume gay media or use the vernacular with impressionable effects in pop culture. Side note: corporate allies – while certainly just reaping the benefits of ‘rainbow capitalism’ in most cases – don’t simply slap a Pride flag on a storefront, or give in to the immature demands of the hateful and malicious few when the going gets miniscule-y tough on their precious profits (looking at you, Target and Starbucks…).

Don’t get me wrong – celebrating Pride Month is an important and hopeful time to commemorate and honor the achievements, culture, lost loved ones, and hard-fought battles, and we can absolutely have fun while recognizing the history, leaders, and advocates backing a resilient and diverse community. We just can’t forget that these battles are real, and still being fought every single day. A Pride flag in your yard is nice, and it is indeed a testament to the fact that it cost decades, strife, and lives for such a small gesture to not automatically be met with widespread violence and vitriol – but such an expression won’t stop the enactment of the next ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, or gender-affirming healthcare ban policy, nor will it stop a Supreme Court hell-bent on overturning hard-fought and well-established protections.

As the saying goes, ‘ally is a verb’. Being an ally means – probably most importantly – consistently voting for candidates that have the best interest of your LGBTQIA+ family and friends at heart – AND encouraging your community to register and vote. Allies participate at local levels of governance (for example, in state legislatures, local school boards, and municipalities) and do the best they can to inform themselves of both positive and hostile policy proposals. Allies, if safe to do so, speak up at the dinner table. Allies volunteer with or financially support advocacy organizations that are fighting in the courts, state legislatures, and Congress. Allies take two minutes to contact their Representatives and Senators in Congress on federal legislation using the Humanist Action Headquarters. Allies familiarize themselves and others on common utilized terms, and politely correct yourself and friends who have accidently used incorrect pronouns for someone else. Being an ally means acting where it counts, and finding ways on top of these few examples where they can make an impact.

Go forth and make a difference as best you can, this month and the rest. Happy Pride!

—Isabella Russian, Policy Coordinator

Pride month is not only a time for celebration but a time of remembrance, visibility, community, and service. You can support the LGBTQA+ community this month by connecting with the people doing the work in your community, like a local nonprofit or a grassroots organization that serves LGBTQA+ youth and/or adults. Volunteer your time, offer a safe space for meetings, or give a financial donation. Better still, ask them what they need.

An ally can always be supportive by educating themselves on the local laws and bills that affect the LGBTQA+ community – as the adage says, ‘Knowledge is Power”.

—Anna Clay, Development Assistant

As an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, the first thing you can make sure to do is listen to your LGBTQ+ friends, family members, colleagues, and neighbors when they tell you what kind of support they need and want. Then do your best to provide that. And if they tell you something you’re doing isn’t helpful or useful, listen to that, too.

Next, be willing to be vocal about your support if you live in an area where the lives, safety, health, and well-being of your LGBTQ+ friends are under threat. Locally, you can attend school board hearings and speak out if “don’t say gay” laws are being passed or books with LGBTQ+ themes are being removed from libraries or trans children are being banned from sports teams and bathrooms. Visit the state house, email your legislators, or show up to protest when discriminatory laws are being debated. Remember, in many communities, it may be safer for you to speak out as an ally than it is for LGBTQ+ people. Be willing to take a little heat.

Speak up in more private areas of your life, too. If you hear a hateful or discriminatory joke or comment made, let the speaker know that it’s not funny or tolerable—even if there are no LGBTQ+ people present to hear it. Make sure you use inclusive language in everyday conversations. Normalize asking people who you’ve just met what pronouns they prefer, even (maybe especially) when you think you already know the answer.

If you can, support LGBTQ+ organizations with your volunteer time and your dollars. Look especially for local mutual aid groups that reach out to those most in need.

—Nicole Carr, Interim Executive Director

It may seem small, but you’ve already done a great act of allyship that you shouldn’t overlook. While displaying rainbow flags can feel performative and almost-too-easy, they are a great way to let folks know that this home/business/neighborhood is a safe space for them to be in and be true to themselves. The LGBTQ+ community is on edge, as we see the conservative right tear away at progress made over the last few decades. When thinking beyond pride month, consider advocating for laws and policies at a state and local level that support our community – or at least supporting elected officials who do.

—Peter Bjork, Web Content Manager

The post <em>What Would a Humanist Do?</em> Meaningful Allyship During Pride Month & Beyond appeared first on TheHumanist.com.

A reader has attended a pride parade and put rainbow flags in their yard, but are seeking more ways to be a meaningful ally.
The post <em>What Would a Humanist Do?</em> Meaningful Allyship During Pride Month & Beyond appeared first on TheHumanist.com.